A federal judge has dismissed Arizona's suit against the federal government over its failure to maintain control of the Mexican border and enforce immigration laws.
Arizona's case was filed in response to the U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit seeking to kill the state's harsh anti-immigration law. Arizona lodged five counterclaims against the U.S. over illegal immigration in the state.
U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton in Arizona on Friday dismissed Arizona's suit, deciding that the state failed to sufficiently claim that the federal government has abdicated its authority on illegal immigration enforcement. Other claims were dismissed because of a similar suit involving Arizona litigated in the mid-1990s.
While Arizona may disagree with the established enforcement priorities, Arizona's allegations do not give rise to a claim that the [federal government has] abdicated their... responsibilities, Bolton wrote.
Brewer Wants U.S. Supreme Court Hearing
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican who signed the anti-immigration legislation into law last year, said the court's ruling was not entirely surprising and that it is critical for the U.S. Supreme Court to hear Arizona's defense of the anti-immigration law.
It is but the latest chapter in a story that Arizonans know all too well: the federal government ignores its constitutional and statutory duty to secure the border, Brewer said of Friday's decision. Remember that Arizona did not choose this fight.
According to Arizona, the Obama administration opened the first salvo with its lawsuit, which contends that the federal government has sole authority over immigration policy and enforcement.
A Strict Immigration Law Or Racial Profiling?
Arizona is one of several Republican-dominated states to pass tough laws to curb illegal Hispanic immigration by making the state a hostile environment. Police officers are required to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. Under the law, failure to carry immigration documents is criminalized.
Opponents have warmed that the law will lead to rampant racial profiling of the state's Hispanic population.
The U.S. Department of Justice has sought to nix these anti-immigration laws in the courts.
Another case targeting Alabama's immigration law, which has sparked an exodus of Hispanics from the state, has reached the federal appellate level, increasing the likelihood that the Supreme Court will decide the constitutionality of state immigration programs.
Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union in October sued South Carolina in federal court, arguing that its immigration law is unconstitutional.